What An Ending Must Do

Arguably one of the most important things not to mess up is the ending, because it can make up for a messy middle or a shaky start! So what do I look for in endings?

The only real important thing for an ending, is to be remembered. If it’s forgotten, you’ve likely done something wrong. Uninteresting is the last thing you want it to be.

However it’s not necessarily true that all endings should be like this, it is genre specific. Perhaps you don’t want a confusing ambiguous and dramatic conclusion in your light-hearted comedy series aimed at children for example.

But for all of those cases where being interesting may not be ideal, what do we want?

Well for cases where in which the message is important, perhaps a reflection of that is more satisfying, more important and more meaningful than the desirable conclusion. And perhaps more fitting, if the desired conclusion would feel out of place.

Let’s take 1984 for example, the future that everybody wants to see in the book is big brother being removed and a normal government made to have power. And though that may be desirable, it is not reflective of the message, because it shows the society to be weaker than it actually is.

Instead, he drives in the horror of the society, and the impact of the message even more, by (spoilers) completely destroying the main character. Not only is the society not removed, Winston’s’ rebellion is completely and utterly crushed, both physically and mentally. It ends with Winston completely and utterly in love with Big Brother, showing just how horrifically the society can change you. It is far more impactful, and makes people’s desire to avoid a 1984 society so much stronger.

Then of course there are ambiguous endings, which are only really good if the rest of the show has been good, since that’s the only way that you’ll have any investment to care. I don’t always dislike them because it’s always fun to wonder, and sometimes the ambiguity is the message, once again like 1984’s ending which is ambiguous to the idea of a rebellion existing.

Interesting is always ideal regardless, sometimes it feels too easy if everything goes your way, and too predictable if there are no twists.

It’s difficult to get right, but it’s important, and can leave a bitter taste if it goes wrong.

So what is my favourite ending from an Asian drama? Probably train to Busan, for spoiler reasons I can’t say.

What’s your favourite kind of ending?

Thank you for reading day 24 of the 30 days of Asian drama challenge! We’re nearly there now, only a couple more left! Today I was answering the question “Drama with the best ending in your opinion?” which I feel I answered more than sufficiently… yeah.

Now the question I want to leave you on is this: If on one day it asks you to say which is your favourite male character, and if on another day it asks you what is your favourite female character, how are you supposed to answer what’s your favourite character without copying and pasting? Assuming your favourite character is male or female.


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